Saturday, 20 December 2014

Phellinus pomaceus and Fomitiporia hippophaeicola.


 Phellinus pomaceus is a bracket that grows on Blackthorn, Prunus spinosus.  Blackthorn is a very common shrub in our hedgerows but I do not seem to find this fungus very frequently.  You need to look at head-height and it is not very conspicuous but remains for many years as layers of rubes are added each year.
Fomitiporia hippophaeicola grows on Sea Buckthorn, Hypophae rhamnoides and is a similar looking bracket.  This shrub is native to the east coast of Britain but introduced to the Pembrey area when this forest was first planted in the 1920's.  Although there are acres of Buckthorn along the coast, I have found few of these brackets.
This species is described in the latest 'Field Mycology' by Martin Ainsworth who says he finds it to the base of old shrubs although the ones I have found are at head-height.  Considerable effort is being taken by the local council to remove the shrub as it is highly invasive and forms impenetrable thickets.  The shrub has root nodules containing nitrogen fixing actinobacteria so alters the delicate soil chemistry that favours many attractive dune plants.

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